Rahul, Bhuveneshwar to play in next round of Ranji matches

KL Rahul injured his hamstring during the Kanpur Test against New Zealand © BCCI

KL Rahul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will play the next round of Ranji Trophy matches beginning on November 13, after missing the major part of the New Zealand series with injuries.

While Bhuvneshwar confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that he would turn out for Uttar Pradesh against Mumbai in Mysore, Karnataka coach J Arun Kumar said Rahul would join the team on Thursday night (November 10) ahead of their Group B clash against Rajasthan in Vizianagaram. With the tournament nearing its home stretch, both teams, especially Uttar Pradesh, who are third from the bottom in Group A, will welcome the return of their star players.

For their part, Rahul and Bhuvneshwar haven’t played any competitive cricket for over a month, and will therefore be keen to prove their match fitness in the Ranji Trophy, in line with India coach Anil Kumble’s new policy. Good performances there could put them in line for selection in India’s side for the last three Tests against England.

Rahul’s most recent game came in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur, where he injured his hamstring while running between the wickets. He missed the remaining two Tests and the subsequent five-match ODI series. He has since undergone rehabilitation before being picked for the game against Mumbai.

Rahul had been in fine form prior to his injury, scoring a 158 in Jamaica and a half-century in St Lucia, before smashing an unbeaten 51-ball 110 in the first T20I against West Indies in Florida. He also had a productive tour of Zimbabwe in June where he made his ODI debut and scored 196 runs in three matches, including a century.

Bhuvneshwar picked up a back strain in the second Test, in Kolkata, where his five-for in the first innings gave India a substantial lead and set up a 178-run win. It was his second five-wicket haul in three matches – the first one came against West Indies in St Lucia, which was his first Test in over 19 months.

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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